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New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying

 
By: Sorcha Faal
06/23/2005 08:10 AM
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New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
[Ed. Note: This report should be read from its website location at [link to www.whatdoesitmean.com] as this email copy does not contain the links embedded in the original report.]

June 23, 2005

New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Russian Subscribers

In what Russian Scientists are calling a prelude to the World Wide Flu Pandemic soon to overtake a defenseless world, the country of New Zealand has ground to virtual halt from a massive flu epidemic, and as we can read as reported by the New Zealand Herald in their article titled "Flu epidemic hits hospital hard" and which says;

"Elective surgery has been postponed as Hawke´s Bay Hospital reels from the impact of the flu bug and other viruses which have hit staff and patients and filled its beds. The hospital is "full to capacity", Hawke´s Bay District Health Board´s chief operating officer Ray Lind said."

Most disturbing about this epidemic is its targeting of children, and as we can read as reported by New Zealand’s Dominion Post in their article titled "Flu is killing our kids" and which says; "A deadly strain of influenza B has claimed three young lives in the past six weeks and is now an epidemic among children in the North Island. The Health Ministry appealed for vigilance yesterday after revealing that the flu outbreak, which has struck thousands of children and swept through schools around the country, had killed a third victim."


More at link.

© June 23, 2005, EU and US all rights reserved.
[link to www.whatdoesitmean.com]

Last Edited by SHR on 09/22/2011 01:37 PM
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
Makes me queazy yak
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
´there is no cure for this flu´


There is no cure for any virus. A virus is a mechanism not a biological organism.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
Wouldn´t a vaccination be a cure? I know that vaccinations prevent viruses, like polio, smallpox and even flu´s.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
Could we have confirmation of this report from someone in New Zealand please?









sigh
Ain SophIA
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
I would like to hear from GLPers who live in New Zealand too????

I do agree though that there a mystery illnesses that are going on. Im in the UK and our children our being hit with illnesses that the GPs cannot identify. They are not life threatening though but it does worry me because it plays havoc with the childrens immune system.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
You can´t read the news yourself 6750? Idiot.

Flu epidemic sweeps Bay
22.06.2005

ALEX HICKEY
Hawke´s Bay, like the rest of the North Island, is in the grip of a flu epidemic which has claimed the lives of three young people island-wide in the past few weeks.

The influenza B virus has swept across the country at epidemic rates, killing a Masterton schoolboy, a Hamilton teenager and an unnamed third youngster. It has also kept thousands of school children in their sickbeds.

Hawke´s Bay District Health Board´s medical officer of health, Lester Calder, said there was an epidemic of the virus in the Bay.

A survey of schools last month had picked up high rates of absenteeism so sick pupils´ swab samples were taken, Dr Calder said.
[link to www.hbtoday.co.nz]
storyid=3640870&thesection=localnews&thesubsecti
on=&thesecondsubsection=
Flu is killing our kids
22 June 2005
By KELLY ANDREW

A deadly strain of influenza B has claimed three young lives in the past six weeks and is now an epidemic among children in the North Island.


The Health Ministry appealed for vigilance yesterday after revealing that the flu outbreak, which has struck thousands of children and swept through schools around the country, had killed a third victim.

All three young people died after developing complications from the Hong Kong B strain of the virus.

Two weeks ago, Masterton schoolboy Matthew Campbell, who had been suffering flu-like symptoms, died suddenly after apparently contracting pneumonia overnight.

Hamilton teenager William MacErlich, who died last week, is believed to have fallen victim to complications associated with the flu. He had a fever and had been given antibiotics for a chest infection.

The third death was in the North Island but the Health Ministry will not reveal details out of concern for the grieving family. They are reportedly from the lower North Island.

Hong Kong B is the dominant strain circulating this winter. Children are vulnerable because the strain has not been common in New Zealand since 1987 - children born after that year are unlikely to have been exposed, so lack immunity.

Middle-aged and elderly people are not at high risk.

This year´s flu vaccine, given mainly to adults and some children with health problems such as heart or respiratory disease, does not contain the Hong Kong B flu strain, which was in last year´s vaccine. Another strain of influenza B, Shanghai, is circulating and is in this year´s vaccine.

Influenza B was reaching epidemic proportions among children in the North Island and causing high rates of absence from school, ministry child and youth health adviser Pat Tuohy said. "We think this is a very serious outbreak, a very significant outbreak. The major concern is the level of illness that we´re seeing in children and young people."

The ministry was concerned by the influenza-related deaths and warned parents and doctors that the impact of influenza B could be more severe than previously thought. It was only now being recognised internationally that the virus could lead to serious illness and death from a secondary infection, such as pneumonia or encephalitis, in children, Dr Tuohy said.

"It now seems likely that around the world influenza B has been implicated in more deaths in children and young people than the records show. Although the cause of death may have been recorded as bacterial pneumonia or some other infection, in fact it was the influenza B which made them vulnerable to that infection."

Dr Tuohy said there was no vaccine available against the Hong Kong B strain of bacteria. However, he still urged people to be vaccinated for protection against other strains.

The World Health Organisation decided which strains should be in the flu vaccine distributed in the southern hemisphere based on surveillance of cases, but Hong Kong B had not surfaced widely till a few months ago.

The ministry has asked hospitals to report how many children and people under 25 are being admitted with flu-related illnesses. By the end of the week it should have a clearer idea of the extent of the epidemic.

Wellington region medical officer of health Annette Nesdale said schools were saying this was the worst flu season they had seen, in terms of numbers of children off sick and the severity of the disease.

An independent safety monitoring board had found no link between the flu outbreak and the meningococcal vaccination being rolled out across New Zealand. Two of the children who died had had the MeNZB vaccine but one had not, Dr Tuohy said.

"This is a nasty bug, quite capable of causing death all on its own."

PARENTS BRACED AS VIRUS TAKES ITS TOLL

The severe virus knocking the stuffing out of children is also putting a strain on working parents who are being told to keep them home in a bid to prevent an escalating epidemic.

Influenza has knocked down two of Eleanor Steel´s three children and she is waiting for it to hit the rest of the family.

The Wellington businesswoman´s son Jack, 5, has been off school since last Wednesday. Normally a whirlwind of energy, he has been left quiet and lethargic by the illness.

Elsbeth, 3, came down with the same bug on Monday night. Both children have had high temperatures and a chesty cough. When she took Jack to the doctor she was told she could do little except give him plenty of fluids and help him rest.

She has had to close her interior design shop in Thorndon to look after her sick children. She is bracing herself for daughter Molly, 8, to fall sick as well. So far she and her husband have escaped.

Masterton schoolboy Joshua McKay, 9, has been sick for four days, the longest stretch he has ever been unwell.

He spent three days vomiting, had high temperatures and still has a violent cough.

Twenty-eight other pupils at Solway Primary school are also absent.

For Joshua´s mother Jo, an early childhood teacher, having a child "laid out" for four days so far and probably longer is a juggling act.

"I have never seen him so sick, and as a parent you have to provide care. But as a working parent, it is really hard because how much time are we allowed to take?

"It is bloody hard to juggle and even if I can arrange care for them so I can be at work, there are the effects of being up all night with a child who can´t sleep."
[link to www.stuff.co.nz]
0.html
sillygalah
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
Hi from concerned ´born in Kiwi´ person.

If you just go to google.com and prompt "Flu epidemic hits hospital hard Hawkes Bay" - the report from the New Zealand Herald comes up...so at least that part of the story is confirmed (reported 9 hours ago apparently)
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
Question to anyone that knows the answer: Can we here in the United States be infected with this flu if someone having it from New Zealand comes here?

How would it spread? How fast could it spread?
Fast5
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
A killer flu spreading like wildfire among New Zealand children was not included in this year´s vaccine because it was not expected to be a threat.

Environmental Science and Research virologist Sue Huang said there were no warning signs for the epidemic of Hong Kong B that has hit North Island children and teenagers and caused three deaths from flu complications in the past six weeks.

Dr Huang is New Zealand´s representative on the Australia Influenza Vaccine Committee, which decides the make-up of each year´s flu vaccine for southern hemisphere countries.

Neither the committee nor the World Health Organisation, which also makes a recommendation, had predicted that Hong Kong B would be the dominant strain in New Zealand this winter, she said.

Instead, based on a study of last year´s flu viruses, they decided the vaccine should include the Shanghai B strain – which is also circulating this year, but has not been linked to any deaths – and two others.

Dr Huang, whose own child is sick with a flu-like illness, said it was "very unfortunate" these predictions had been wrong. It meant that no vaccine available worldwide would combat Hong Kong B. Last year´s supply, which contained Hong Kong B, had expired or run out.

Australia, which has the same flu vaccine as New Zealand, had not been badly hit by the Hong Kong B strain. Dr Huang could only speculate on what had caused the epidemic here.


In New Zealand the virus had probably managed to reach young children who did not have immunity "and it has just spread like wildfire. We´ve never seen so many sick children before."

The Hong Kong virus has not been common in New Zealand since 1987, though it appeared in a limited way in 2003 and 2004, both years when it was included in the flu vaccine. Children born after 1987 are vulnerable because they have not been exposed to the virus to develop immunity.

Dr Huang, who has worked at ESR since 1988, had never seen two strains of influenza B circulating so widely in the community. It seemed the peak of the flu season had not arrived yet.

The possibility that Hong Kong B had mutated into a more dangerous virus was being considered, but tests so far did not support this.

Samples of the virus from New Zealand cases were sent yesterday to a WHO laboratory in Melbourne for analysis.

The Health Ministry issued a warning on Tuesday that the virus was at epidemic levels and urged parents and doctors to be vigilant.

It has asked GPs and hospitals to report cases involving children and young people with flu symptoms.



[link to www.stuff.co.nz]
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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15148...

I asked for confirmation and I get called an idiot. Such is the state of the world on this full moon night.

May you Kiwis rest in peace.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
This isn´t the avian flu that could cause a world pandemic, thats HN51 if I remember correctly. Its just sensationalism and playing on what you´ve been reading lately.
AC
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
I believe the guy who won the US Open golf was from New Zealand.

Maybe he brought it with him.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
I called you an idiot 6750 because you asked for ´confirmation´ about something that´s as easy to find as just Googling it.

You also framed it in the context that just because Sorcha Faal was reporting it, it must be suspect.

Now if you had been a smart person, like most of us around here, you´d have gone directly to Sorcha´s article and clicked on the links and seen all of this for yourself.

So just by your few words you expose yourself as someone that pretends to what to know about something but doesn´t bother to check anything for themselves....in other words an idiot, and a lazy one at that!
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
I wouldn´t call reporting on a flu epidemic that´s killing children sensationalism 1015, I´d call it scary and tragic for the families that lost those kids.
PhantomWolf nli
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
It has?

Okay, how come us people down here in New Zealand are the last to be told tht the country has ground to a halt and everyone is dropping dead of the flu?

Can´t we at least get told that we´re supposed to be coughing ourselves to death?

Then again, perhaps it´s all bollocks.


I´m gunna vote for the second since I live in New Zealand and while there are a larger number of kids sick than is usual, the country has NOT ground to a halt, or even close. In fact all predictions are that when the school holidays hit in a week or so that this flu will burn itself out through lack of contact between the infected and the uninfected.
bundy
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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ITS FLUSEASON OVER THERE, remember?
the seasons are reversed.
NOW they have a strain that is paticulary bad because it wasnt included in the vaccine,but the fact that it is hurting the usual population vunerable to the flu (the very old and the very young) show its not unusual,just tragic
The usual sensationalized stuff,in other words.
spockbeer2beer2
PhantomWolf nli
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Just s Information.

It is currently the start of the flu season here and this one is nasty, but it´s not like everyone in the country has it. The schools have been pretty hard and 3 kids have died, but considering the numbers infected, 3 is a very low number of fatalies.

The strain is Hong Kong B and it wasn´t predicted to come here so wasn´t vaccinated against, nor is there a vaccine availible.

There is no cure for any flu, only a natural resitance which is what the vaccine does, it encourages the body to produce anti-bodies that will then fight any introduction of the infection, so saying there is no cure is like saying there is no air in space.

While a lot of parents are worried (wouldn´t you be for your kids?) there is no panic or major worry about an epidemic wiping us all out and life carries on just the same down here for most people. Hospitals require to take greater precautions thn most because people who are ill already or recovering from things like surgery are more likely to suffer complications if they catch it, and since it wasn´t vaccinated gainst it is a greater threat in those areas.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
15148:

I never said it wasn´t tragic, obviously it is tragic when anyone loses a child.

But...

It is sensationalism, as the headline automatically makes people think of the HN51 avian flu scare that has been banded about recently.

Cheers!
DogFishHead
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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"It is sensationalism, as the headline automatically makes people think of the HN51 avian flu scare that has been banded about recently."

It´s typical Faal gross hyperbole. She has a knack of taking real headlines and twisting them into either rabid ideology, or a doom and gloomer.

In other words, propaganda. Bush and co could learn a few things. Their propaganda, while strong, doesn´t quite have ´The Force´ like good old-fashioned Soviet-type stuff; hell, even fundy Muslims do a better job.
bundy
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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15148, WE are on the same page, sorry if I made it seem otherwise
I really hate to see someone capitalize on the suffering of children, Thats just sorry behaviour isnt it?
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
The article did not mention the mortality rate of this NZ flu. From the tone of the article, I suspect it´s not as high as reports of the dreaded ´bird flu´. Where 50-70% of those who´ve been infected do not survive. With no natural immunity, that´s pretty bad, when if you get infected, you´re more likely to die than not.
zazzman
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
Scorcher Fake is an idiot...Only 3 deaths in 6 weeks. It (as spock says) is flu season over there and some folks die from it...
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Let´s see, New Zealand was in the news recently for telling the Mossad spies/agents to take a hike and that they weren´t welcome there...a few months later, a very strange disease crops up and attacks children- sounds like a mossad job to me

babydance
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
Sorcha is a psyops for the 400th time! Planting fear MEMES... however

For the 300th time...

Natural anti-virals - for Christ sake do the research...

Colloidal Silver
Olive Leaf Extract
Oregano OIl
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Elderberry - Nature´s Way Sambucol for instance
Garlic and large doses of Vitamin C


and that´s just for starters
PhantomWolf nli
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!

Don´t you people actully bother to READ anything?

It´s not an "unknown" nor a "strange" nor an "Unusual" disease, it´s the influenza Hong Kong B strain, plain and simple. It would have come in with one of our many asian visitors

As to mortality rate, there have been 3 deaths out of over a thousand of cases, that´s under 0.3%

Get it through your heads, it´s not as serious as those reports are being used to make it appear. I should know, I live in New Zealand.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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<
How would it spread? How fast could it spread?>>

You´re kidding, right?
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
"In fact all predictions are that when the school holidays hit in a week or so that this flu will burn itself out through lack of contact between the infected and the uninfected."

And yet, we see no indication that officials are even considering closing the schools, obviously the best place for kids to become infected by other kids. Why not? If I lived in NZ and had young school aged kids, I´d keep them home. Even if you don´t worry for the kids health, it´s gonna be easier to take care of well kids temp. at home, than sick ones.

Also, very interesting that WHO made the decision not to include this type flu in the innoculations for this year.
SunSpot
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Since when is "elective surgery postponed" equivalent to "country grinds to a halt"?
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
3 deaths in 6 months?

more people die from lightening
B
12/08/2005 10:14 AM
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Re: New Zealand Grinds to Halt as Massive Flu Epidemic Hits Tens of Thousands and Children Begin Dying
Bird flu is a concerned for me, because I do go to the beach and those sea gull droppings are all over. I hope this isn´t a threat of any kind.





GLP